The Foundation for Exceptional Kids is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation that was founded in 2006 to provide educational programs and therapeutic supports to children with developmental disabilities and their families. In recent years, we have expanded our mission and initiatives to include uniting and strengthening the special needs community and the professionals that serve it.
The Foundation for Exceptional Kids is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with developmental disabilities and strengthening the local special needs community. We provide educational programs that empower families, contribute to community supports and services, and create nourishing events that unite a community.
We support our mission and make a difference through the following initiatives.
Initiative 1: Develop no/low cost programming for children with special needs and their families that provide therapeutic opportunities and benefits that unite and empowers.
Locally there is a need for additional programs to support families and children with special needs. Each year the Foundation for Exceptional Kids hosts an overnight camp for children and their families called Camp Runamuk, which provides real camp experience for the entire family, in a therapeutic environment supportive of the family unit. As support increases, we wish to expand our programmatic opportunities to include support groups, social interaction groups, and summer programs.
Initiative 2: Develop programming for young adults in the areas of employment and independent living.
Arizona lacks programming specific to young adults who have transitioned from youth services that focus on employment and independent living. The Foundation for Exceptional Kids understands this need and looks to create transition living programs and employment support programs to assist the young adult community.
Initiative 3: Provide community education to families, professionals, teachers, and the community at large, about individuals with special needs, their value, and ways to support them.
Through effective training, the Foundation for Exceptional Kids intends to increase the effectiveness of community support and team-based interventions by providing the community and families with much needed education specific to the population and their specific needs. We currently provide community and parent based education in the areas of disability awareness, accessing current support systems, financial and educational planning, and the types of positive behavioral interventions for supporting individuals with special needs.
Initiative 4: Develop supplemental funding for therapy/medical equipment and scholarship opportunities for cost prohibitive treatment and programs to assist Arizona families are struggling financially or who lack state assistance.
The cost associated with intensive programs (ie: private preschools and after school programs), specialty treatments (ie: hippo therapy, music therapy,) and related therapy or medical equipment (ie: sensory equipment, communication devices) can be very cost prohibitive and sometimes inaccessible to financially struggling families of children with special needs. The Foundation for Exceptional Kids is accessing grant and scholarship programs and establishing supplemental funding through legacy and estate giving to assist families. Currently we are partnering with local sponsors and national groups like Autism Speaks.
Initiative 5: Create a means of accepting and distributing in-kind donations for agencies with underfunded programs, which support the special needs community.
It is our endeavor to assist local agencies, support groups, and practitioners who are supporting this community with under or un-funded programs, so that they may make a broader impact on the special needs community. Through the sharing of resources and in-kind donations, we hope to impact the population we serve, by supporting our community partners.